Meet the Candidates: Parish Council District 4

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2023

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Parish Council District 4

  • Tyra Duhe-Griffin

Why did you choose to run for Parish Council? I am seeking reelection to serve as councilperson for District 4 because I wish to continue serving my community with integrity and compassion. One of the most effective ways to give back is to serve through public office, which enables me to be the eyes and ears of the community. This platform gives me the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues that affect my constituents and their families. In this position, I am able to present pertinent issues to the council body for consideration or, if certain issues are not policy-related, I take responsibility of assuring these specific issues or concerns are brought to the appropriate divisions within parish administration. I serve with honor by being the voice of the voiceless. Serving as councilperson for District 4 is much like the work I do as an educator: I engage with my constituency.  I listen to them.  And many times, I am able to explain governmental and/or policy-related specifications that they otherwise may not understand. Oftentimes, I am learning from my constituents in the community about some of the direst needs of the community.  Most importantly, advocacy is on the forefront. It is of paramount importance that I continue to fight to protect the interests and wellbeing of those that have entrusted me to serve.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I am the most qualified candidate not because I have already served in the position for four years but because during that four-year period, I learned the demands of the job, and I worked for my constituents.  I had only cursory familiarity with the Home Rule Charter, when I started four years ago.  Today, I know it thoroughly.  I recognize how some of the constraints of the Charter, which was drafted over thirty years ago, adversely impact residents today.  I have worked diligently with other forward-thinking members of the council to enact ordinances that benefit the people of St. John the Baptist Parish.  I have also worked diligently to push back against measures that do not benefit the people of St. John the Baptist Parish.  As important as it has been for me to forge relationships with other policymakers to move St. John the Baptist Parish forward, I have not been afraid to be independent and decline to support efforts that ultimately undermine the best interests of residents.  I have been transparent, accessible, and diligent over the past four years.  I will remain transparent, accessible, and diligent for the next four years.

What is the No. 1 concern impacting your district, and how do you plan to address it? The number one concern impacting my district is the same primary concern for the parish: protection from natural disasters. The threat and effects of natural disasters manifest in multiple ways. District 4 is located on the north side of Airline which was the epicenter of devastation from our last storm. Our homes need flood protection but most importantly giving our families’ and businesses confidence in a safer and sustainable future. The construction of the West Shore Levee will help decrease flood insurance rates and lure economic development and secure jobs for our region.

What would you like to accomplish in the next four years? My goals for the next four years include continuing to put advocacy at the forefront for the residents and families of District 4.  I will continue to be accessible to the residents by listening and addressing their needs and always prioritize their best interests.  I will continue to promote and support positive youth development where our youth can explore and expand their potential. This will be done by providing learning opportunities that bring a wide range of benefits to our youth and families. Focusing on social, emotional, cognitive, and academic development reduces risky behaviors, promotes physical health, and provides a safe and supportive environment for children and youth. My overall vision is to improve my constituents’ quality of life — regardless of race, class, gender, or socioeconomic status. I believe that there is a solution to every problem and when we work together, everybody wins. I will be forever grateful to the people of St. John the Baptist Parish for entrusting me with the opportunity to serve on the parish council for District 4. Go Geaux #88

  • Constance “Connie” Schexnayder

Constance “Connie” Schexnayder

Date of Birth: November 10, 1960

Profession/ Current Employer/ Retired: Retired

Why did you choose to run for Parish Council? As a lifelong resident of St. John the Baptist Parish and District 4, I believe that the people of District 4 need strong leadership and to be informed of changes within our parish and community. We need a council person who will be visible, vocal and a voice for the people.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I am homegrown and do not engage in politics! I am simply a concerned citizen who has a desire to serve the people and advocate for the improvement of our community.

What is the No. 1 concern impacting your district, and how do you plan to address this? There are a number of pressing concerns facing our district, one of them being the safety of the citizens in District 4. One of the safety concerns is the excessive speed on the streets within the communities. The safety of the citizens in District 4 is a top priority.

What would you like to accomplish in the next four years? Working to bridge gaps between the community members, parish government, and all stakeholders in order to keep St. John the Baptist Parish growing and moving forward.